Congress/Administration Look to Federal Privacy Laws

AAF is supportive of a federal privacy and data security law and is working with our partners in Privacy for America to encourage Congress to pass such a law. We believe consumers in every state are deserving of appropriate privacy protections and a certainty of standards nationwide will benefit not only consumers, but businesses and the economy as well. Unfortunately, much of the rhetoric surrounding the issue tends to demonize the industry and the use of data. AAF and our industry partners will work to ensure any new laws and regulations also recognize and encourage the many benefits of responsibly used data to consumers, businesses and the economy.

Despite the well-publicized disagreements between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, privacy and data security is an issue many members of both parties would like to address. Last summer, the House Energy and Commerce Committee for the first time passed a bi-partisan comprehensive privacy bill. While AAF believes the measure has some serious flaws, it shows the desire of lawmakers to act.

Momentum is growing for action in other parts of the Capitol as well. President Joe Biden recently called on Congress to come together “to hold Big Tech accountable.” Unfortunately, he called for what could be overly strict limitations on the use of personal data. Some members of his administration recognize the need for a national standard. Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications Information was recently quoted as saying, “Though some states have taken the lead on privacy protections, far too many in America lack baseline protections for their privacy and personal information. A national standard is a much better way to operate…Privacy rights shouldn’t change when you cross state lines.”

A recent report said that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is tentatively planning a June vote on legislation to protect children online. Last summer, AAF communicated with Senate Commerce Committee leaders expressing our support for a national, preemptive, comprehensive privacy law that strengthens protections for kids and teens within a broader privacy framework for all Americans.